Learn French Intermediate/B Resource Guide
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What is it like to learn French at the Intermediate/B level?
Intermediate/B learners of French begin with being able to create their own phrases and sentences.
The biggest feature of the intermediate/B level is creating with language. As you progress through this level, your produced speech will become paragraphs. The top of the Intermediate/B level is similar to the beginning of the advanced/C level. It usually takes about twice as long to progress from the beginning of this level, up to the end of intermediate and into Advanced/C.
I love five weeks. It originated as my time off from school each summer before we had all this technology. Over the years it’s evolved into a way of life. I can make progress all the time. I can also do some of the more tedious activities, which are necessary, and know that there’s an end in sight. Every five weeks is a fresh new opportunity to engage in languages.
Here are some resources for you to invest five week periods in.
I love Pimsleur levels four and five.
I love listening to them in my car, on my phone or on my Alexa. I can lose weight. I can exercise. I can commute. My Alexa, I can do anything and learn a language at the same time.
Olly Richards Short Stories in French. I love these. There’s nothing like having a story told to you. I would include the intermediate level stories as well as the beginner level stories. I listened to them over and over again when I’m learning a language until I really understand the story.
The title says beginner, but I personally think it is perfect for intermediates.
These stories have glossaries built into them and they also have a PDF companion.
Podcasts. Many to choose from in itunes here.
News in Slow French. I absolutely love this.
Coffee Break courses are really great too. This guy produces loads of content and offers accompanying courses.
Yabla. This is one of my absolute favorite tools for novice and intermediate learners. This is one of my absolute favorites for beginners and intermediates. It’s essentially a growing library of content in French with a patented video player. You can watch videos being completely immersed in authentic language and culture with subtitles and captions, and the patented player will make it slower, or faster, and will repeat. A video, (perhaps a one hour TV show) will be broken up into numerous episodes. I’ve discovered some really enjoyable TV shows and they teach everything completely in French. There’s also loads of games and an active community as well.
Interesting content. That’s the idea behind LingQ. This was created by Steve Kaufmann, hyperpolyglot who you’ll read about in the book. Read, read, read and read interesting content, and he’s made that possible.
Readlang. This is a great tool for learning a language. Reading is one of the best things that you can do for learning a language. You’ll get vocabulary and grammar completely in context and you’ll be able to spend as much time as you need to understand someone. You just don’t get that in a conversation. When you have print I highly recommend highlighting, marking up text and using post-its. But if you’re going to read on the web, Readlang is perfect. You can look up words and you can create flashcard sets.
Italki. I absolutely love this brilliant tool. Sign up for Italki and connect with a native speaking teacher or tutor. You can filter and find French speakers from anywhere available at a variety of times using a variety of communication tools. You might connect on Skype or you might connect on Google Hangouts, for example. Get talking to that native speaker. I like to record my sessions and then listen to them later. These people are experienced and compassionate and we’ll get you confident in communicating. Highly recommend.
Netflix or Amazon Prime. Netflix is one of my very favorite tools to learn French. You will find so many resources available of authentic content in French. You can even watch your favorite shows that you already know dubbed in French with subtitles and closed captions. I like using this plugin specifically designed for learners of a language. Amazon Prime has quite a bit of content as well.
Consider spending even just a couple of weeks abroad. What I love about study abroad is that you can make progress really quickly if you choose to invest your time in communicating with the locals. A lot of people like to do the hard work at home, go through the novice level, get talking on Italki and then go abroad. I know some people spend a lot of their time abroad in cafes reading and communicating. I personally like at the intermediate level to attend private language schools.
All the private language schools that I’ve attended have had pretty much the same setup where you go in the morning and you have some section of conversation and grammar and you finish around lunch time. You then have the rest of the afternoon and the evening to tour around wherever you are or work on your language skills. It’s the perfect study holiday. You can really up the intensity by saying with a host family. I’ve done that and I’ve also made my own home abroad with Airbnb.
Online immersion. Language immersion essentially is where you’re learning languages and you’re learning something else, some type of content at the same time. It’s never been easier today. You can exercise online. You can do guitar tutorials. You can learn cooking. Essentially you want to learn something through a language. This is perfect to learn intermediate French.
Practice makes Perfect. Verb tenses and vocabulary are vital to understanding language and production. These aren’t so fun, but they’re super effective. I like dividing up a book over five weeks and working through it. There’s translations, grammar, explanations, and getting to use new vocabulary in cognitive context.
Journaling. This is one of my very favorite activities as a language learner, and it’s very effective. When you’re at the intermediate range, or B range, you can create with language. I love to pick a topic, set a timer, and it can start with a shorter period of time, and write everything I can, or for as long as I can, or as fluently as I can about that topic. When the timer is up, I go back and I use translators or tools to help me fill in the blanks of what I need to learn.
I like to do the same with Voice Memos. You also have a great documentation of your progress.
I love to use Google Translate to do more reading- vital to learn intermediate French. Again, Google Translate is not 100% accurate, but it gets better and better all the time because it scans for content translated by humans. When I want to get more immersion, I use Google Translate to do some of my reading online. For example, when doing the keto diet, I needed to educate myself and learn recipes.
Diet Doctor.com (or any relevant topic to you) is a great resource for the purpose of learning intermediate French, but adapt it to your own interests by choosing a relevant topic’s website. You can put the URL in Google Translate. While it’s not authentically written in French, this can help you turn some of your other tasks and time into language learning time.